Fox News Host Thinks Young Women Shouldn't Vote or Serve on Juries
Fox News anchors have turned their attention to the impact of the female vote in the upcoming elections. In July, "O'Reilly Factor" correspondent Jesse Watters referred to them on-air as “the Beyoncé voters, the single ladies,” and predicted they would be an election-decider this fall.
“Obama won the single ladies by 76 percent last time, and they made up about a quarter of the electorate. You know, they depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need things like contraception, health care, and they love to talk about equal pay,” he said. These statements have been debunked by The Atlantic, and have since spawned a strong social media response in reaction to his claims.
On Tuesday's broadcast of Fox News’ “The Five” co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle discouraged young women from participating in elections and serving on juries. “Young women on juries are not a good idea,” she said. “They don’t get it! They’re not in the same, like, life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, health care.”
Guilfoyle went on to say that because young women are “healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world,” they don’t understand the issues at hand. Her suggested solution? “Excuse them, so they can go back on Tinder and Match.com.”
On Thursday, she clarified her statement via Twitter:
Should young women (or men for that matter) who haven’t studied the issues… cast their vote at the ballot box? That discussion on @TheFive— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) October 23, 2014
Earlier this month, another host made the same gaffe. Harris Faulker, a host on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” wondered whether young people should vote if they don’t know enough the issues.
According to a 2010 report from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, there is lower turnout amongst young people, so a more progress-oriented strategy might be to inform and then encourage.
For a positive example, check out Lena Dunham’s video for Rock the Vote, or Vote Smart, a project that aims to make political information accessible and understandable. There are so many ways our electoral process can improve for young voters—generalizations by headline hungry hosts only hold us back.